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The Secret of Platform 13

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,616 Ratings  ·  570 Reviews
A forgotten door on an abandoned railway platform is the entrance to a magical kingdom--an island where humans live happily with feys, mermaids, ogres, and other wonderful creatures. Carefully hidden from the world, the Island is only accessible when the door opens for nine days every nine years. A lot can go wrong in nine days. When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the pr ...more
Paperback, 231 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ferdy
Oct 31, 2015 Ferdy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-book
A really fun, simple and magical read. It reminded me a lot of Harry Potter, what with platform 13 being like platform 9 and 3/4's, and Raymond/Ben were just like Dudley/Harry, and Mrs Trottle was sort of like Mrs Dursley.
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
One of my kids brought this book home from the school library several years ago and (true to form) I swiped it when they were done and read it.* I think younger Harry Potter fans would enjoy this book. As in the HP books, there's a platform at London's Kings Cross Station that leads to a different, magical world.** This magical porthole opens only once every nine years, for a nine-day period. Nine years ago, the baby prince of this magical land was kidnapped while visiting our world. And now tha ...more
Carly Green
Oct 16, 2013 Carly Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This book has magic flowing throughout every word- I can't stress enough how much I love it. I still have the old copy from when I was very small, with my name shakily written on the inside cover. When we were asked at school what we thought heaven would be like, I simply read out Ibbotson's description of 'the island', an island with curving beaches, mermaids, hags and the all-important mistmakers. It manages to include everything a child would need to know about being good and kind, about how ...more
LH Johnson
Feb 19, 2012 LH Johnson rated it it was amazing
Oh, oh, oh, my love for Eva Ibbotson utterly continues.

The Secret of Platform 13 is furiously magical and madly inventive. It's the story of a hidden island, wrapped away from the 'everyday' by magic and mists (mists made, fyi, by the *most* amazing creation ever - mistmakers, seal-like creatures who produce mist every time they hear beautiful music). The island is accessible through a secret door on Platform 13, Kings Cross which opens briefly every nine years.

The island is desperately missin
...more
Jess
Nov 08, 2008 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Dahl, Rowling
Shelves: juv, fantasy
Chapter book - fantasy
For grades 2-7

An ogre, a wizard, a fey and a hag are sent to our world to rescue a young prince who was stolen as a baby in this humorous, low-fantasy adventure.

Every nine years, for nine days, a doorway is open between our world and the Island, which is inhabited by all manner of fantastical creatures; when four of these magical people come through to rescue their prince, the mix-ups and adventure that ensue are more than enough to keep any young fantasy fan entertained. I
...more
Jess Hancock
Jan 06, 2016 Jess Hancock rated it really liked it
My year 4 bookclub chose this as their second read.
To be honest when I first started reading I didn't know how on earth I was going to help them draw anything from the story. It was slow starting, a little confusing, slightly vague, but then suddenly the pace changes and it turns into a wonderful little mystical adventure story.
I did enjoy the story and liked that I could draw references to books and movies such as; Harry Potter, Prince Caspian, flushed Away and Janes Bond.
At book club, the t
...more
Meaghan
Feb 24, 2014 Meaghan rated it liked it
These are third grade student reviews!

MAEVE
This surprisingly twisty turny tale is about a fey, a magnificent wizard, a magical garden lady, and last, a floating eyeball (or an Ogre if you would be so kind.) They all live on an island in peace until someone no one knows steels the baby prince and everyone is dreadfully sad. This is when the story really begins…
No one except the rescuers know what’s in the world of London. The King and Queen make the rescuers set out to find their long lost son. O
...more
Jori Richardson
I was browsing through a thrift store, and when I saw this short little children's book, I decided to read it right on the spot.
I remember seeing this book everywhere when I was a younger teenager, but for some reason I never ended up reading it. It was probably during the years that I refused to read anything but historical fiction and classics (which, I must admit, still sounds loosely similar to how things are today).

But anyways.

In "The Secret of Platform 13," there is an Island somewhere (no
...more
Namratha
Jul 23, 2008 Namratha rated it really liked it
My foray into the crazy world of Eva Ibbotson continues!

Platform 13 at London Station has remained shut since a very long time. But any attempts to make renovations always....always get botched up. The reason being that Platform 13 hides a "gump" : an opening to a secret, utopian island. It is a blissful place, ruled by a well-loved King and Queen and plays home to all kinds of humans, animals and magical creatures. However the gump opens once in nine years for nine hours only. So anyone who wan
...more
Kristin
Nov 10, 2015 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Wow...I'll never look at knitting needles the same way again. Thanks a lot, Soft Parts Doreen.

Seriously, though, why isn't this book a well-known classic? It was so charming and funny and addicting. It was like Roald Dahl with a bit of Narnia and Harry Potter thrown in. I loved the writing style, the characters, the plot, everything! What is it with the British and their children's books? They write kids' classics better than anyone else.

Every time I read a new middle grade, I'm hoping that it
...more
Arielle Starzynski
Mar 17, 2016 Arielle Starzynski rated it it was amazing
Read this years ago and loved it and just now re-read it for a grad class and loved it still.

Eva Ibbotson introduces her readers to an island that is essentially a sanctuary for those that have gotten tired of the busy, stinking reality of real life. There are banshees, giants, warlocks, nymphs--anything you could ever possibly think of being in any kind of fairy tale you have ever read. The Island can be gotten to from the normal human world every nine years through special mounds called "gumps
...more
Laurel S
Aug 19, 2011 Laurel S rated it really liked it
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson is a book about a motley crew of rescuers who find that their mission to save their prince will not be so easy after all. The first chapter is about a prince that was born on a magic island hidden in mist. In a secret cove there is this kind of door called a "gump" that opens for a short time before closing again for 9 years. The little prince is lost on the other side of the gump in London and is stuck there for 9 years. The next time the gump opens the ...more
vaugnfreech
Mar 24, 2013 vaugnfreech rated it really liked it
I saw a copy of this at Booksale some years ago. The title is catchy enough: The Secret of Platform 13. Which sounds like, Platform 9 3/4. Harry Potter rip off? I didn't mind.

Then I saw a bargain copy lately, back to back books by Eva Ibbotson for only 55 Php. Cool enough. Two books: The Secret of Platform 13 and Island of the Aunts. I started reading The Secret of Platform 13 as soon as possible. I was inspired when I saw the publishing year: 1994. Harry Potter was first published 1997. So the
...more
Corey Whitley
Nov 12, 2015 Corey Whitley rated it really liked it
The Novel The Secret of Platform 13 is a great novel about a secret island and magical animals and a king and queen. The plot of the story is the king and queen have a prince but one way or another the prince gets stolen in London my a rich lady who wants a child and it takes the king and queen 4 years or so to get through the magical portal the king and queen send some magical beings to get him back this novel is about this incredible jorney and the twists and turns that might happen.
Christina
Jun 23, 2015 Christina rated it really liked it
Just finished reading this to my 7 and 8 year old girls. It was laugh out loud funny in parts (for them), and a wonderful rollicking tale. Not dark or complex, but so gripping for my children that we just read four chapters straight, as they could not bear to go to bed without knowing how the story ended. It is definitely a children's story, not intended for adults. But the delight was all mine - seeing their enthusiasm, empathy and enjoyment.
Lee Nespor
Aug 22, 2011 Lee Nespor rated it liked it
Definitely some similarities to Harry Potter - certain fundamental elements are there, the biggest being Kings Cross Platform 13, but where as Ibbotson handles the passage to magic in a CS Lewis manner (cloakroom doorway into another world), Rowling places it all firmly within our world and keeps it there. There is also the main character similarity - poor orphan boy living with mean adults who ignore him while adoring their spoiled son. Definitely rings some bells, but again not unique. You cou ...more
Brianna Mathes
Jan 08, 2010 Brianna Mathes rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In a magical kingdom, a King and Queen are blessed with a baby. They decide they have too many things to do and hire 3 nanny's. The nanny's start to get homesick and ask to take the baby to platform 13 and go back to where they grew up, London, England.The King and Queen finally aprove of their idea. While the nanny's are in london getting fish and chips, someone snatches the baby. The nanny's travel back to the kingdom with the bad news. The King and Queen and everyone in the kingdom became de ...more
Johnny Bennett
Jul 07, 2015 Johnny Bennett rated it it was ok
Eva Ibbotson writes this tale about The Secret of Platform 13. This fairly well written novel follows rescuers through a portal between the magical world and the real world in an attempt to retrieve a stolen child.
This book fails for two primary reasons, while being well written, it somehow wasn't engaging. There is no concern for if the characters live or die. Do they succeed or not? Doesn't matter. Couldn't care less. Problem number two was predictability. From the introduction of a character
...more
Lisa
On the other side of Platform 13 in London, lies a magical world, full of magical creatures and ruled by a wonderful king and queen. When they have their first baby, the baby's three nannies take the baby with them on the other side - they were homesick for London, and just wanted to take a peak at home. While they are there, the baby is stolen, and they are forced to return with the terrible news. But the entrance to this magical land is only open every nine years for only nine days.

With the e
...more
Abi Inman
Jul 28, 2015 Abi Inman rated it it was amazing
When I was eight years old my family moved from Illinois to California, and my best friend gave me this book to take with me as a goodbye present. ~memories~
Hanifah Mahdiyanti
lucu, so sweet, nyebelin, mengharukan...
gampang ditebak sih, tapi hal-hal kecilnya yang bikin surprise ga kelewatan, dan itulah yang bikin ceritanya menarik...

menegangkan banget detik-detik terakhirnya... :D
Melori
Sep 03, 2014 Melori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chtěla bych mít doma taky jednoho mlhoděje, a kdyby to šlo jednu bloudu za humny, až už budu z tohohole světa fakt unavená.
Fadhilatul
Dec 12, 2014 Fadhilatul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
suka banget sama Buku ini.. Eva ibbotson punya gaya yg khas menulis buku2 anak yg terkait dgn hantu. :)
Robin Stevens
Oct 19, 2014 Robin Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joyous, magical storytelling with honesty, heart and a wonderful way of seeing the world. A modern classic.
Larissa
Mar 22, 2015 Larissa rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book as a kid and loving it! I haven't thought about it in eons!
Joe Steven
A nice read for the younger ones.
Sean
Oct 08, 2014 Sean rated it really liked it
I read this book back in 1996 I think (it was pre Harry Potter I know that) and I've been searching for this book for probably over 10 years now trying to remember the title. Long story short, I found it! And read it again!

To review it, obviously it's a children's book but the story is still good. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact because I wanted more out of it. I rated it 4 stars probably mostly out of nostalgia. This book and Harry Potter got me loving books and readying when I was
...more
Lizzy Baldwin
Feb 12, 2016 Lizzy Baldwin rated it liked it
As the blurb suggests the book follows The Secret of Platform 13, this secret being that, on a mystical Island, (we’re never quite given the details where) where humans and magical creatures live harmoniously there is a portal that only opens every nine years, that leads to the London Underground. One day, two nurses are taking the infant Prince out for a walk and are tempted into the portal; letting the Prince out of their sight for a minute the terrible Mrs Trottle snatches the baby for her ow ...more
Widad Oteh
Sometimes you'll read something from an author and think, 'Wow, this author is fantastic! I can't wait to read more!' Then you read more and spot several flaws and realise that you only didn't see those flaws in the previous story because it was kept short enough to stop the author going off the rails, or the plot was straightforward enough for the author to manage, or whatever it was that the author got wrong the second time. The flaw in The Secret of Platform 13 is the shabby attempt at foresh ...more
Jennifer
Aug 26, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
Ibbotson, Eva. The Secret of Platform 13. Illustrated by Sue Porter.
Penguin Group/Puffin Books, New York, 1998.
Originally published by Pan Macmillan Children’s Books, Great Britain, 1994.
231 pages. $5.99 ISBN 0-14-130286-0 (pb.)
Grades 2-4; Ages 7-10

None but the ghosts of Platform 13 know of the existence of a door called the gump. Hidden behind the gentlemen’s cloakroom at King’s Cross Station, this portal between worlds opens only for nine days every nine years. Beyond the gump lies the Island:
...more
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy.

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduated with a diploma in edu
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“It's true that adventures are good for people even when they are very young. Adventures can get in a person's blood even if he doesn't remember having them. ” 1667 likes
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